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Audrey Semprun, 10 Oct '12

A Reason to Believe

Kristin heard the footsteps marching forcefully on the stairs. Her heart beat seemingly outside of her chest. She had never been so scared. She had waited for this day, and had hoped that it wouldn’t arrive. This was it. She had to act quickly, before there was no escape. She didn’t have time to wait.

It didn’t matter what she believed now. She had to go with what she knew, and she knew this: There were people dead in the streets everywhere! She had never seen such mayhem. Fires were burning out of control. She watched the news on her television in horror as the world that she had once known had fallen apart right before her eyes. She watched the announcement of the New World Order.

All the talk about the Apocalypse was manifesting, and they were killing everything that moved it seemed. Everything that moved that is that professed to believe in God! What an outrage, but there was no stopping the Troops. Anti-Christ had risen to power and he demanded Solidarity! No one would cross him! There was no more law; no more order. There was no more secrecy either. His reign was unapologetic and unpretentious. His reign was sovereign, period!

Grabbing up her car keys, Kristin flew out of her front door. There would be no graceful exit. It was now or never. Taking the steps opposite of the approaching soldiers Kristin flew down them three at a time. She missed a step, almost stumbled, and caught her balance as she slammed into the rail and ricocheted into the other rail. She couldn’t go any faster. Her legs felt like rubber. She prayed that they wouldn’t desert her.

“Over there, hey, you!” The guard shouted. Kristin didn’t have time to pause. She’d either be shot or she wouldn’t. The shot rang out. Panic gripped Kristin’s heart as she felt the bullet penetrate her left arm. Pain seared through her body. Shot! She had been shot! Blood gushed out of the gaping wound as Kristin bottomed the stairs and rounded the corner. She put her free hand over her injured arm instinctively and ran: The keys digging into her skin, adding their own insult to her injury.

“Run!” She shouted hysterically as she ran. “Run!” She had to let someone know, anyone. She had to believe that there was more of her kind out there. The parking lot was deserted, save for the bodies littering her now polluted city. The smell of decay was thick in the air and Kristin gagged on the stench. Still she ran; still she cried out, “They’re coming! Oh, my God, run, they’re coming!”

She had a death-grip on the car keys in her hand. She released her ravished arm and fumbled with her key in the door. Blood was everywhere. She couldn’t get the door unlocked. She dropped them on the ground. As she frantically stooped down to pick up the keys another shot rang out. This one shattered her driver’s rear side window.

She managed to get the key in the door and somehow unlocked it. She jumped into the car. Using her damaged arm, she pulled the door shut and then with her good hand put the key in the ignition. Another shot rang out. She heard it, but didn’t know where it had landed. It had missed the target completely. She turned the key and the crank made its customary clatter, but no ignition. She turned it back off, pumped the gas peddle and turned the key once again. The crank clattered, but made its connection. The engine hummed to life. The car was her only hope. She put the lever in Reverse and gunned it. She cringed as she thumped over a body. She hit her brakes, but only long enough to slam it into Drive. She was getting out of there!

She didn’t know where to go. She edged her Toyota slowly down the barren street now. There was no more fear of capture or execution, at least not at the moment. But there was no place of refuge either. She looked at the gas gauge. She had less than a quarter of a tank of gas. She circled the block and thought about what she should do next.

If she went back to her apartment she would be slaughtered. If she tried to leave town she would be persecuted and tracked down. If she cried out for help no one would hear her. She wondered if she cried out to God if He would listen. She didn’t think so. Why would He?

“God, if there is a God, help me. I got no one. I got nothing. What do you want from me?” Kristin shouted her exasperations out to a God she could not see, and to who she was certain could not hear.

“Strike me dead. Why did I have to live? Why do I care? What do I have to live for anyway?” Kristin didn’t care. She had nothing and she had no one.

“Why did I even bother to run?” But Kristin knew that answer. She knew that she wasn’t willing to deny that there was a God. How many times had she heard that you can kill the body, but not the soul? Wasn’t that a laugh though? Even now she was cursing the God that she refused to acknowledge when everything was okay, when life was good.

Something moved and caught her eye. She slowed the car to a crawl. There on the sidewalk was a small child. It was a little boy. He seemed to her to be about four years old. He looked lost and bewildered. Kristin pulled the car to the curb and stopped.

He started backing away from her as she approached. Kristin hadn’t thought about how frightening she must look, all bloody and all!

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you.”

“Please, lady. I don’t know you.”

“I promise I won’t hurt you.”

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.” The little boy was still wary.

“I’m not a stranger, honest. I’m Miss Kristin. I’m Katie and Jacob’s mommy.”

“Katie and Jacob? I don’t know no one like that.”

“But you know that if I’m a mommy that I won’t hurt you, right?”

“I don’t guess so, I don’t think. I’m not sure.”

“Where’s your mommy?”

“She’s sleeping. Daddy is too. I got hungry.”

“Couldn’t you wake them up?” Kristin asked.

“They wouldn’t wake up. I tried. They just kept sleeping. Except I didn’t understand why Daddy had his eyes open, but he didn’t see me, I’m sure of it.”

“We should go now,” Kristin tried to coax the little guy to come with her to her car.

“I can’t go anywhere with you. I don’t know you.” The boy insisted.

“I know Jesus.” She had to try. They had to get out of there.

“Jesus? Really?”

“Honest, angel.” Kristin stated, and she even believed it herself.

“My name’s Tommy.”

A black car turned the corner and headed down the street. It was driving really slowly. They had found her – them.

She didn’t have time to ask his permission or to think. She scooped him up into her undamaged arm and held him close to her heart.

“I’m so pleased to meet you Tommy. You know. Everything’s going to be all right.”

Shots rang out in the street. She was right. Everything was all right. God had heard her cries after all.

Comments · 3

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  • Jean Woest said...

    An interesting premise and you build tension very well, especially the scene where she is trying to get into her car and trying to start it without success.

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Metta H said...

    This is a really thrilling piece of writing. How frightening to go through such an ordeal. I do hope this doesn't happen although it is written in the bible that a day like this will happen.

    • Posted 6 years ago
  • Audrey Semprun said...

    @OTORIventuresThank you both, @Metta H for reading my story and for commenting. I really appreciate it!

    • Posted 6 years ago